Saturday, December 10, 2011

Mustafa: Truly Chosen

Mustafa Tamimi a martyr that will continue to live on.

Iremember just Friday morning, walking the streets of Nabi Saleh, all
activists and villagers alike gather to begin the weekly demonstration
against occupation. This Friday however was special, it was the Friday
commemorating 24 years since the first Intifada, as well as the second
year since demonstrations against the occupation, began in Nabi Saleh.
I remember walking alongside my friend and a few of the villagers as
we remarked on the foul smell of the "shit water" that Zionist Israeli
soldiers sprayed around the village a few days earlier. I remember
joking around with everyone. I remember looking into the eyes of
everyone there and seeing resistance and hope. I saw Palestine in the
shiny glimmer in their eyes. Every Friday that we go to Nabi Saleh we
have an expectation of what we will be subjected to as unarmed
demonstrators. No matter how peaceful we are, we know that we will be
teargassed excessively, adults and children alike. We expect to be
shot at with metal coated rubber bullets. We expect the "scream
machine" which has been recorded to cause people to faint. We even
expect to be injured, to have our bones broken, to be beaten up and
arrested. Yet never did we expect to die, or one of us to die.

However we stood corrected on Friday December 9th 2011. This Friday
that was supposed to commemorate the 24th year since the first
Intifada and the second year since the beginning of demonstrations in
Nabi Saleh, now also marks the day Mustafa Tamimi 28 years old was
shot in cold blood straight in the head with a high velocity tear gas
canister. Never did we expect this Friday to be the Friday that Nabi
Saleh has its first martyr fall. Never did we think we would witness
such horror.

I remember walking the streets of Nabi Saleh and the first sight that
would come to mind, was ruthless soldiers pointing and shooting at
unarmed demonstrators, that are asking for basic human rights. I
remember that the first smell that would come to mind was the smell of
tear gas and "shit water." I remember the first sound was the sound of
the "scream machine" and the pop pop pop from the guns used to aim and
injure us. I remember when I heard the word resistance the image of
youth holding the Palestinian flag high was the first image to come to

Now after December 9th, after Mustafa Tamimi has become a martyr. The
first sight that comes to mind when I walk the streets of Nabi Saleh
will be Mustafa in his white button up, and the pool of blood he lay
in. The first sight will be a pool of red, a pool of a heroes blood.
How he was carried away in a Ford and how his injured body was held up
by Israeli Zionists before he was taken to a hospital. I will remember
how his sister was denied to see him. How his mother had to get
permission from the very soldiers that shot him to go with her beloved
son to the hospital. How his father was denied entry to accompany his
son while he bleeds excessively. The first sound will not be the
"scream machine." It will be his sister Olla Tamimi yelling at the
soldiers that shot her brother in cold blood demanding to see him
"BIDEE ASHOOFO!" (I WANT TO SEE HIM!) The screams of Olla will be
engraved in my mind forever. The sounds of a young female fall apart
as her bleeding brother is but a few meters away and she isn't allowed
to see him. I will no longer remember how it rained teargas in Nabi
Saleh, I will remember how the eyes of the young shabab that face
their occupiers with such courage are now raining tears, how their
eyes cried blood from grief and sorrow.

Next time I walk the streets of Nabi Saleh I will remember how Mustafa
stood up with such courage to a group of armed soldiers, I will
remember his bravery and his voice which he used for a free Palestine.
Mustafa might be gone, but his voice will continue to live on, it will
live on in the streets of Nabi Saleh and within us. We will use our
voice to echo his.

Now, when someone speaks of resistance, I will not think of youth
holding the Palestinian flag high. I will think of that one
Palestinian flag that was held up so high, which was covered in
Mustafa's blood. That flag resembles Palestinian resistance.

To Mustafa I say, you will live on and we will continue to go to Nabi
Saleh and we will continue to embody your courage. We will not forget
nor will we forgive. May your beautiful beautiful soul rest in peace.

Palestinian flag drenched in our beloved martyr Mustafa Tamimi's blood

                                               * * * * * * *

The following was written before word of Mustafa Tamimi’s death was announced. Now that he is blessed with martyrdom, there are honestly no words to express the emotions we try to compress. There are only the memories we posses, memories of his sister Olla screaming to see her brother, memories of his mother with that gaunt look on her face, memories of the IOF saying, “Yes, I killed him, and I’m proud.”. May his soul be eternally blessed, and may his spirit continue to guide us in our struggle for human rights and liberty.

Restiam Umani.

                Waiting for the right words to fall into place..
“The trauma we face after Mustafa’s injury is……
There can’t possibly be a word.
It’s difficult to fall asleep.
                Will there be a funeral soon in Nabi Saleh?
Oh Lord, we have but you. Save him.
                      Save him, Lord.
My heart physically aches. There is a dagger wedged in my ribcage.
                “There is nothing wrong with him, “ IOF said.
“is3aaaf…is3aaaf” “ambulance! ambulance!”  was heard like thunder from the hill.

                Trauma is why many children in Gaza stare with empty eyes, souls aching. Trauma is why children who watched their friends die before their eyes feel no point in going back to school.
                It is a physical force, an energy that compresses the soul, squeezing life out of every morning, every sunrise and set.
It is Palestinian.
                How many martyrs died in your class? One used to sit next to me. Now there is a very empty chair.
It is childhood.

                Lord, bring Mustafa back to us a survivor.
                        Lord, we have but you…

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